Finalists to battle it out for Thistle Awards

THE Borders is well represented in the regional section of the Scottish Thistle Awards this year, after the shortlists were announced on Monday.

The awards, organised by VisitScotland, celebrate excellence across the tourism industry, with the emphasis on quality and enhancing visitor experiences.

The nominated local businesses and events are: Kingsmuir House B&B in Peebles, Glenacre B&B in Jedburgh, The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course, The Tour of Britain, TweedLove Bike Festival, and Bowhill House and Country Estate.

Each will battle it out with other finalists from across the Lothians and Fife for a place at the national awards final, to be held later this year.

Paula McDonald, regional director for VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that so many Scottish Borders tourism businesses have reached the regional final of the Scottish Thistle Awards.

“The Borders offers a great visitor experience in terms of the quality of things to see and do and places to stay, and these businesses have an excellent chance of securing a place at the national Scottish Thistle Awards which will take place this November.”

Miss McDonald added: “Next year Scotland welcomes the world with several key events such as the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland 2014, putting this country in the international spotlight, and everyone needs to do their bit to help make the Scottish Borders shine.

“The local tourism industry as a whole needs to be as polished as it can be and this drive for quality is really important, with now being the time for businesses to do all they can to stay at the very top of their game and reap the rewards.”

Kingsmuir House and Glenacre will have to fight off The Bridge Inn at Ratho if either are to take away the Best Guest House/B&B award.

The Roxburghe is a finalist in the Best Hotel category, while Bowhill is in the running for the Best Visitor Attraction award.

Tweedlove and the Tour of Britain (Stage 3 started in Jedburgh) will go against each other in the Best Sporting Event category.